Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Poetry night, bobby pins, Thanksgiving

I've been wanting to go to "Open Mic Night" in Shirlington for a while now.  It's a cute little, shopping urban area near where I live.  I finally went on Monday night.  What I had assumed would be an open mic night of music, was 100% poetry.  I kind of laughed because I've never been to something where people come out of the audience and recite poetry that they've written and memorized.  But that happened. Two hours worth of poetry.

I was surprised and felt pretty awkward by the people that felt like making elaborate poems describing their love lives...that was not necessary from my perspective. Keep the similes of your love making to yourself and the one you're making love to.  But maybe that's just me. haha However, there were a couple of really great poems.  Some people really are gifted with words and the ability to express situations and emotion in a way that not everyone can.

A couple of funny lines from open mic night that made me smile and pull out my phone to write in my notes are as follows:

"Haunting pasts are like growing neck goiters"

 Or this gem:

"You can keep cutting my limbs but like a star fish, I will keep regenerating and growing back." ??

It was a pretty funny evening.  I can't say that I'll be a regular at open mic night but it was fun to try something new. haha

I have been living off of three bobby pins.  Anyone who knows me, or uses bobby pins themselves, realizes that keeping track of such itty bitty necessities is nearly impossible.  I'd lost all but three and had been sliding them on the end of my sleeve when I slept and using them the next day.  Well I cracked and splurged haha on some new bobby pins.  It's a love/hate relationship I have with those.  I need them but I always, always lose them.

I spent Thanksgiving at my aunts house which was lovely.  I think it's a wonderful yearly reminder to live a life of gratitude for what we have and the people in our lives.  It struck particularly hard this year because I'd lived a good portion of 2012 in a country where material goods are in short supply.  The things I'm thankful for are different than before.  All the "stuff" really doesn't mean anything to me.  I had car problems a month ago and my phone wouldn't turn on this morning and the thought that came to mind was, "Oh gosh.  First world problems."  haha Life was simple when I didn't need a car, clothes brands don't matter, who cares how many fluffy pillows decorate your bed, if you wear makeup or have a hair out of place, if one of your earphones isn't working, the tv didn't record the end of your favorite show, etc etc.  I guess it's just interesting to me living in a world where so many conveniences that are a natural part of our lives are completely nonexistent in Uganda and other parts of the world.  It bothers me when I catch myself worrying about things that don't really matter.

The last Thanksgiving meal that I had was in Bunabuyoka.  It's the little village where we built the health clinic.  The people threw a huge party for us and cooked quite a feast.  There was chicken (meaning what we ate had been literally been walking around outside 2 hours before we ate it), posho, matoke, chapatti, beans etc.  I remember feeling nostalgic that it was the last time I'd be eating with my hands and it'd be socially acceptable.
 I'm thankful for the basics.  For the things that I often forget about when I get caught up in first world luxuries.  I'm thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I'm thankful that I can have a relationship with God.  I'm thankful for my friends and family and their good health.  In Uganda the life expectancy is in the late forties, early fifties.  There's no reason why I should be born into a country where myself, my friends and family will live very long lives, but I'm thankful that I get them for as long as I can.  We're really blessed.  It's good for me to step back every now and then and realize what really matters.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.  More posts to come!  :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lengthy hair, Best impulse buys, Loving love

Whirlwind. I have awkward dating stories (which are always a good time) but I will save them for the next blog post.
  • A kid from my past found me. He's been blogged about, in fact. The 21 year-old from Logan that came to country dancing and later on a date "warmed up my hands"...with his hands when mine were cold. Anywho, he said he spent an hour trying to find me on Facebook and we talked on the phone the other day. Flattered that I apparently left a good impression but...super random.
  • The couple that I nanny for have been awesome and have been giving me book recommendations--both for finding jobs and just for enjoyment. Either way, I always enjoy a good book suggestion. 
  • There is a genuine addiction that I have to Starbucks. I'm completely aware that Starbucks is an American shabang.  However, my first time going to Starbucks was when I lived in Paris. Therefore the location holds a completely, irrationally nostalgic place in my heart. Salted caramel hot chocolate. Webster would define it as edible happiness. 
  • I've officially decided that I want to grow my hair out nice and long. I chopped my hair back in 2007 in Paris and I've never let it get too long since then. So we'll see how long it takes and whether or not it will be as pretty in real life as I see it in my head. Haha stay tuned over the next...year?? Who knows how long this is going to take! Haha
  • I went to target tonight. I fell victim to the five dollar movie box and came out with one of my all time favorite movies--"While You Were Sleeping". My sakes, I already don't regret that purchase. I might, maybe, may have walked away with a new red polka dot cardi as well. Yeah, darling and don't regret that either.
  • A friend this summer asked me if I had ever been in love. I laughed and said, "no.  I don't stay with people that long." Haha we then had a conversation about what love is and how you know when you love someone. While I still don't feel like I could honestly say that I've been in love with anyone, I'm amazed at the beauty and power of love. (Whoa.  "The Power of Love" song from Back to the Future just popped into my head.  You're welcome.  That's just a worthwhile jam right there.)  Over the past few days I've skyped some dear Italian friends, written a friend from Zimbabwe, skyped an American friend back in Uganda, spoken to my Alaskan friend that I served with in Italy, a dear friend back in Utah and others. I guess it has just surprised me how every time I've hung up with these people, I feel something deep inside me that truly adores them and the value they add to my life. So yeah, the romantic "in love" stuff, not so much. Not yet anyway. But I'm continually amazed and thankful for the people in my life that have made such an impression on me, that I'm always aware of how much I fully and completely love them. If romantic love is anything like it, I'm in. Because it's my favorite thing.
  • I'm stoked out of my mind for a three day work week. Hopefully little baby James will hook me up with a thanksgiving statement like, "I'm thankful I didn't get pooped or peed on this week." That's never been something I would have been thankful for in the past but alas, that is applicable in my life now.
  • Rebel Wilson is one of my new favorite people. She quite literally makes me laugh out loud all the time. I'll try to eventually post a vid or something but good crap, that lady is hysterical.
  • Op, nearly forgot to blog about seeing the final twilight film. Yes, that really happened. There were many moments when I had to laugh because I realized I was literally watching a flick about vampires and werewolves and yet...somehow at the end I was completely sucked in (whoa definitely an unintentional pun right there.  Yikes.)  and sad it was over. embarrassing. 
Well I'm going to get some shut eye. I will update more later. Til then,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The latest thoughts, deets and tails from this neck of the woods...

  • I stopped by Target last week to gather cards for my first east coast game night.  Meandering through the gargantuan store, I came across the Home Decor section.  Danger.  I happen to adore wandering through that section of the store and imagining decorating a space all my own.  Thankfully I don't have a space to decorate because many a penny would be spent in that there store, in that there section.  It's happiness.
  • Yesterday I treated myself to a pedicure.  I've had the old turquoise nail polish on my toenails that had been painted back in my home two months ago.  Go ahead and judge me.  I am.  It's awkward. haha It was lovely to have someone scrub down my very roughed up post-africa feet.  They're soft and my toes are so cute now.  Odd that we decorate those itty bitty, strange appendages down there right?  
  • I nanny for a little 4 month old baby named James.  I feel like I'm a full-time mom sometimes.  Now before all of the mothers out there mock me because I have no idea what they've experienced, they're right. I've never been pregnant, given birth, nor experienced the first (of many) sleepless nights during the beginning.  But on a small scale, I'm starting to relate.  I nanny Monday-Friday 8:00am-6:00pm.  It's crazy to me that the stud can strategically plan his pooping and pee time for right when I'm changing his diaper.  And yet somehow, I still adore him to bits.  How does that work?  I didn't even produce the fella.  How can I glaze over consistent digestive hate crimes?  haha I dunno.  But he's adorable.
  • I'm still happily addicted to spinach smoothies.  I only get to eat during nap time but throwing healthy goods into a blender and having a cup of green deliciousness as the result is consistently pleasing.  Love.
  • I've been on a few dates since I've been here.  My very favorite date that I've been on in the last few months would have to be....that one in Paris. :)  Yeah, I didn't tell a lot of people about it but it was wonderful.  We went to the Bastille, walked along the Seine, sat by the water and talked for a while, then went out for drinks...I ordered mango juice haha, and then...maybe we watched some Prison Break together.  haha Granted a lot of what made that date wonderful was the whimsical location was so fun.  He's a really great guy and we had a lot of fun together.  Please bless there are more dates like zat in my future.  I don't know why I felt it appropriate to take a shoe shot on the Seine together...probably just because I'm irritatingly pleased with his good taste in clothes.  Seriously, you should have seen what the lad was wearing.  Ugh, french men and their effortless attractiveness.
  • We had a game night last week.  Played Rummikub, listened to Chicago's greatest hits (that's real), and had a hilarious good time.  Group of fun friends on the east coast slowly in formation.
  • Christmas music.  Look out.  It’s early.  I should not be listening to it.  But goodness, what is it about Christmas music that makes me want to walk bundled up holding hands with a rugged, thoughtful man down a twinkly light lined street?!   haha Unreal.  Maybe if there were a bunch of famous thanksgiving songs, the radio stations wouldn't start playing the Christmas goods in November.  I dunno.  But then again, who wants to sing about a turkey?  I wouldn't put it past Rihanna for some reason.
  • LOVE talking to people from the various phases of my life.  Recently I’ve been able to speak to people from my days in Paris, mission in Italy, and summer in Uganda.  It’s amazing what a bond exists between these people because of what you learned and went through together.  I love having met them and being blessed with continued contact with them.  
  • Still longing to live abroad.  What is my deal?  Constantly brainstorming what career could allow me to work out of Paris or Italy or...Africa.  What a spaz I am.  I adore traveling and every place I’ve lived has changed my life.  But I’ve left a little piece of my heart in all of those places and...can’t help but want to go back to feel that way again.  Maybe I sound crazy. I'm thankful for the time that I've had in all of those places.  I really am.  They were nothing short of life changing.  But I miss the people, the places, the language, the me that lived and learned there.  What a pathetic mess. haha We'll see.  I'm happy to be where I am and being having the experiences that I'm currently having.  I really am blessed.  I have another 4 1/2 months to work as a nanny then who knows, maybe the perfect career will magically pop up that allows me to move to Europe.  :)  If not, that's okay too.
Hope you're all healthy and happy wherever you may be.  Love,

Blonde, curly haired nanny with nerd glasses in the nations capital.  :)